NORMAL - A new, high-end hotel will soon be checking in to the town's north side.
Developers are not releasing the name of it yet, but they are promising to turn an eyesore into an eye-catcher.
WMBD's Twin Cities Bureau Chief Jacob Long has more.
With a winning bid of $2 million, Swift Hospitality became the new owner Friday of a vacant hotel off Main Street in north Normal.
"We're very excited to get started," says President & CEO David Swift.
The Northern Illinois company plans to remodel the building and open it up again as a full-service, high-end hotel, conference center and restaurant.
Swift says, "We feel we can be very competitive and complimentary to the lodging district here."
Developers say they specifically sought out the Twin Cities for the area's stable economy.
They hope to create about 100 jobs and breathe new life into the rundown site.
"One of the things our company strives for is to always be a good corporate citizen in any community we go to," Swift says.
The property has long been an eyesore for Normal. It used to be a Holiday Inn.
When that closed, it was going to be a Crowne Plaza. But that project got foreclosed on.
And now, in about 10 months, the building will finally be a hotel once again.
Normal City Manager Mark Peterson says, "There's definitely room in this market for another full-service hotel."
Once it's completed, the hotel will sit on one of Normal's tax increment financing, or T.I.F., districts.
Swift could get as much as $2 million to help pay for the project.
"Ultimately, we have to decide if they need T.I.F. benefits in order to generate a reasonable turn on investment," Peterson says.
That decision will likely come after the boarded up doors open for business again for the first time in months.
Construction will begin once Swift officially gains control of the property. This will be the company's first hotel in the Twin Cities.
It should open sometime in 2011.